What is Automatic Vehicle Location?

What is AVL?

AVL, or automatic vehicle location, is a general term that describes the tracking of vehicles. It is often used as an all-purpose term that includes tracking of other high-value mobile assets, such as laptops and tablets, high dollar construction equipment, and any other asset you may use in your business.

Assets are tracked using GPS to determine geographic location. GPS electronic devices are installed in vehicles or other high-value assets and using the NavStar GPS system, the position of the asset can be determined, transmitted and recorded.  In addition to providing location data, the time, speed and heading of an asset can also be recorded. AVL systems are customizable, making it possible to keep track of additional data as necessary, such as the amount of salt used by a snow plow.

There are five fundamental components of AVL, all of which are provided by CompassCom:

  • Hardware – CompassCom can install recommended hardware or, in some instances, use hardware that you already have.
  • Connectivity – We can work with any wireless or 2-way radio carrier. We also have solutions that are compatible with Wi-Fi and satellite.
  • Data Interoperability Server – We use the unique CompassLDE server which simultaneously compiles data from numerous inputs for analysis in real time.
  • GIS Data – CompassCom AVL solutions work with ESRI ArcGIS 10.
  • Decision-Making Software– CompassTrac Viewers, and CompassReports allow simultaneous incident command on site and off and help you make decisions regarding your best possible response.

What Are the Benefits of AVL?

The benefits of AVL are numerous, whether your business has one vehicle or an entire fleet. AVL allows you to monitor things like the actual routes taken by drivers, fuel consumption, material consumption, and personnel activity. Using this information, it is possible to cut costs by modifying routes and streamlining operations.

AVL also allows managers to reduce risk and lower insurance costs by knowing the moment problems occur. Statistically, the benefits of AVL outweigh the costs by a considerable margin:

  • Reduced fuel consumption
  • 89% reduction in speeding
  • 14% travel time reduction
  • 59% reduction in idle time
  • 9% decrease in overtime
  • Average savings of $1,100 per vehicle per year

When you can track where your vehicles are and what they are doing, you can make better decisions that result in faster responses.

Is AVL Right For My Business or Organization?

Fleet management is right for any business or organization with vehicles or assets in the field. Whether you use one vehicle for business purposes or you manage an entire fleet, you will benefit from implementing Automatic Vehicle Location.

CompassCom serves a number of industries, including:

  • Government
    • Emergency Response/Public Safety
      • Fire
      • EMS
      • Law Enforcement
    • Public Works
      • Snow Plows
      • Street Sweeping
      • Weed Management
      • Solid Waste
      • Road and Bridge
      • Mosquito Control
    • Department of Transportation
  • Oil and Gas
    • Production
    • Heavy assets, such as drilling, capping
  • Utilities
    • Gas
    • Electricity
    • Water
    • Wastewater
  • General Business
    • Any type of fleet management


CompassAVL is the public view utility for automatic vehicle location designed to run embedded in a third-party portal such as an agency website or company website, showing your field service organization in action, including breadcrumb trails and color-coded vehicles.

Street sweepers, waste haulers, sprayers, shuttle buses– let your community see that there’s no question where they’ve been or the route they’re taking. Prove efficiency and accountability.

Mistaken claims of damage can also be avoided when people can see for themselves where your fleet vehicles have been using automatic vehicle location. CompassCom can provide replays for management to determine the legitimacy of any damage claims, but CompassAVL will help avert potential mistaken claims and discourage fraud.


Citizens can see the routes themselves and know when their streets will be passable. They can be assured the city is on top of the storm.


In mosquito-prone areas where sprayers are scheduled, citizens can know when and exactly where the eradication is taking place. They can also be reassured that, because it’s enfolded into the AVL program, no more insecticide chemicals are being used than necessary, both for monetary and environmental reasons.

The same is true for herbicide in weed control. Show that your organization is working to kill aggressive weed species while being responsible with the environment.

At CompassCom, we offer customized AVL solutions for any industry. Whether you need to track a vehicle fleet or other mobile resources like ruggedized laptops, we can help you keep track of your most valuable assets.

Since 1994, we have been at the forefront of the AVL industry. We provide unique solutions using the ESRI ArcGIS platform. In addition to providing complete AVL solutions, we also offer the flexibility to work with any wireless carrier or 2-way radio. We also provide interoperability to ensure that no matter what your assets may be, you can track them seamlessly in real-time.

We have clients and connections spanning the globe, and most of our customers are thrilled with the level of customer service we provide. From helping you implement and learn how to use your AVL system to providing a helping hand when trouble arises, we are always here.

Learn More About What AVL Can Do For Your Business Or Organization